They may not be very popular yet, but more and more manufacturers are launching their car coffee maker model or 12v coffee maker. We have decided to echo this trend in a specialized portal.
If you want a car coffee maker, it is because you fulfil one of the following premises: 1- you travel a lot with your car, or 2- you can’t give up enjoying your coffee at any time. But, before you go shopping, you must be very clear about what this product is like. The 12v car coffee makers have several standard features, which we will summarize below:
- They work with a 12V or 24V socket. In other words, they are coffee pots that are plugged into the car’s cigarette lighter. It is the only way they have to get the electricity needed for the extraction. Do not confuse them with portable coffee machines, which do not usually have an electrical outlet and require you to pour hot or boiled water into them beforehand.
- Those with a 12-volt socket are for designed for cars, and those with a 24-volt plug are capsule coffee makers for trucks. Be careful with this difference, because in some models you can choose which plug you prefer. Make no mistake!
- They usually work with single-dose coffee pods or with ground coffee.
- They can only make one cup at a time.
- Some models do not reach the pressure needed for a “real” espresso.
- They are easy to handle and easy to transport.
- They are slightly noisy. But luckily, they don’t take more than a couple of minutes to get the coffee ready.
Car coffee maker vs individual coffee makers
In addition to meeting the above requirements, it should be made clear that car coffee machines must be plugged into the car and are used to make coffee in the car (using, as mentioned above, the cigarette lighter socket). Therefore, a distinction must be made between mini coffee machines, single-cup coffee machines, and real car cigarette lighter coffee machines.
The former, also called individual coffee makers, are very small, similar to car coffee makers. Sometimes they even include a thermal cup, perfect for attaching to the car’s cup holder and drinking your coffee on the go. But, they are not for making coffee in the car. It is important to note this difference.
Any car coffee maker can be considered portable (because it is small) or individual (they usually only make one cup at a time). But not all portable coffee makers are suitable for the car.
Car coffee makers: Prices and models
As there are different models and different manufacturers, prices vary significantly. Therefore, we have decided to compile in this list all the car coffee machines -or the best 12v coffee machines– that are currently available on the internet market. All offers are updated with real prices, valid at least for the last 24 hours:
Truck coffee maker
As we have said before, this type of coffee machine works the same as a car coffee maker. Just change the nature of the connector: car coffee machines are connected to a 12-volt socket, and truck coffee machines use a 24-v plug.
Some brands market precisely the same model, with different connections: one coffee machine with a 12v socket and another with a 24v socket. If you are thinking of buying a truck coffee machine online, take a look at the best 24v coffee machines on the market:
NOTE: Truck coffee machines are the most common use of this device, but they are also commonly used in vans or as coffee machines for boats. In general, they can be used anywhere with a 24-volt socket.
Coffee makers for motorhomes
If you are looking for a coffee machine for the campsite, the most practical thing sometimes opts for one of these electric coffee machines. They are connected to the lighter of the campervan, just like any other car coffee machine.
All you have to do is look at the type of socket your campervan has (12v or 24v) and choose the model accordingly from the two groups mentioned above.
How does a car coffee maker work?
It is a general question among users who first come across a car coffee maker. How does a car coffee maker work? How long does it take to make coffee? What is its real capacity? Don’t be overwhelmed by so many questions, and look at the video below. All your doubts will be dispelled at once:
Don’t you have any doubts anymore?
The best car coffee maker
Let’s review below what, in our opinion, are the best 12-volt coffee machines on the market. If you’re looking for a travel coffeemaker for the car or making an excellent gift, you should start by looking at any of these three:
Handpresso Auto coffee maker
The Handpresso Auto may be the standard for car coffee machines. It was the first brand that opted exclusively for car coffee machines, and the truth is that it shows.
They are at the forefront of their competitors in many aspects, such as the different versions of the coffee machine (Mini, Hybrid or standard. Not all have power for the cigarette lighter) or the pack with briefcase included transporting the Handpresso with all its accessories and single dose.
The Handpresso Auto coffee maker has 16 bars of pressure and a practical temperature so that we know at all times when we must extract our espresso. It doesn’t take more than two minutes.
The prestigious Italian firm Lavazza has also wanted to position itself in the emerging market for car travel coffee machines, and the result is this Lavazza EspressGo.
Its qualities are similar to those of the Handpresso Auto: 12 volts, half a litre capacity, temperature gauge, dimensions and very same materials. The only difference is that this Lavazza EspressGo works with Lavazza A Modo Mio capsules, and the Handpresso works with generic ESE single-dose pods.
HandCoffee Auto (truck capsule coffee maker)
Be careful: we must not confuse the HandCoffee Auto with the Handpresso Auto presented before. They are similar names, but they are not the same coffee maker.
This HandCoffee Auto is available in two versions (12-volt or 24-volt socket). As we said at the beginning of the guide, the first is for the car, and the second is a capsule coffee maker for trucks. Both models are the same: they only differ in size and the power socket. They have 140 watts of power and a capacity for 80 ml or 110 ml of coffee. And they work with the same soft single dose as Senseo’s coffee machines (or equivalent compatible)!